Saturday, 04 February 2023

Wildfire cleanup update: Nearly 1,000 properties cleared of household hazardous waste

This past week, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control resumed emergency Phase 1 cleanup operations to remove household hazardous waste and bulk asbestos from properties impacted by recent wildfires in Northern California.

“Sadly, more communities across California are facing the threat of wildfire destruction and environmental harm more than ever before,” said DTSC Director Meredith Williams. “Where there is a need, DTSC’s Emergency Response team will continue to be on the scene, protecting residents from exposure to household hazardous waste, as they continue their recovery.”

LNU Lightning Complex

DTSC has nearly completed Phase 1 cleanup of more than 950 properties impacted by the LNU fire in Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Through the duration of the LNU cleanup project, which began on Sept. 14, DTSC kept the public informed of the cleanup progress using DTSC’s real-time Public Dashboard mapping system. This tool also streamlines communication to hazardous waste personnel who are on the ground assessing and removing waste.

Phase 1 cleanup focuses on the removal of asbestos and household hazardous waste, which are in some cases ignitable, corrosive or toxic. DTSC’s goal is to stop materials that can cause health and safety problems from spreading in the environment of these communities.

North Complex

The Department began cleanup activities in the North Complex fire on Tuesday, Oct. 5 in Butte County.

An interactive map for the North Complex fire has also been developed by DTSC and can be found here.

Currently two DTSC-led teams are removing household hazardous waste and a total of four teams will be available for the project beginning Oct. 12. They estimate that work to remove household hazardous waste from about 1,300 properties will take between eight and 12 weeks to complete.

Household hazardous waste includes car batteries, solvents, paints, aerosols, propane tanks, fertilizers, pool chemicals, and other potentially harmful materials found on home sites.

DTSC was tasked by the governor’s Office of Emergency Services and coordinated with the various counties and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jones fire

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, DTSC completed the cleanup of 10 parcels impacted by the Jones fire in Nevada County.

Following the completion of Phase 1, counties coordinate the removal of remaining debris and ash in Phase 2.

To learn more about DTSC’s wildfire cleanup and recovery program, please go here.

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